Nov
13
2012

Flagstaff and the meteor crater

Well, we had a few days in flagstaff to kill while the car had some new tyres put on its backend and some serious wheel alignment. While it was in the garage we had a little Ford Fiesta to drive round in but we didn’t really go too far.

On the Sunday we woke to find most of the snow that had appeared on the Saturday evening had pretty much gone but the temperature was still hanging around the 3-4C mark. We decided to stay in most of the day while Abby caught up with some reading and I caught up with some work. I think we finally went out the room about 18:30 to get some food to an Indian across the road.

Monday we decided to wander into Flagstaff and have a look around the place. It’s a smallish town compared to some places we have been but it was alright, located right on the 66 with the railway running right through it. Unfortunately the day before, Dan and Jo found that Flagstaff had a webcam and as punishment of going to Vegas without them, made us go and stand in the middle of Heritage Square and wave at it at exactly 19:00GMT (12:00pm our time) while they controlled it. Apart from it being around 3C at the time there were a few people looking at us thinking ‘what the hell’ but it worked out ok.

Monday evening we decided to catch up with some films and went to the cinema. We wanted to watch Flight and Skyfall but couldn't decide which, so we did both! We went into watch Flight first and then after we came out, we saw Skyfall was on in 10 minutes, so we went and watched that as well!

On Tuesday we phoned up the garage and they told us the car would be ready around 14:00 so we decided to take the Fiesta and go and visit the meteor creator about 40 miles east of Flagstaff.  The crater is the best preserved in the world and is fairly young at only 50,000 years old. It’s a fairly big creator at 1.2km in diameter and 270m deep. The meteor was estimated to be around 50m across but what remains of it, is a lot smaller.

Right, for those of you that have fallen asleep at this point, here are some pics.

Picked up the old girl with her new tyres and heading north up to Utah now!

Nov
10
2012

Hoover Dam, The Grand Canyon and a disastrous 2 days!

I forgot to mention on the last post that Abby actually had her first drive in America. She drove back from Death Valley on Thursday over the state border back to Nevada and towards Vegas. She didn't manage to get onto the 6 lane interstate but covered a good 80 miles. Well done! However, everything else below may just be a coincidence after Abby drove...

Well Friday started off to be a bit of a nightmare. I was woken up at 5am by the Halifax ringing me to let me know my debit card had been cloned and there were 10 fraudulent payments pending on my account. So after a 30 minute call to a 0845 number from the USA (boy is that going to bite me at the end of the month) they cancelled my card. So that means no more getting cash out for us unless Abby can withdraw some from her account. We have been doing most of our spending on my credit card as it’s 0% on foreign transactions, but it’s always handy to have cash!

So we checked out of the hotel and hit the road wondering what else was in store for us. Next was the realisation that we had missed the junction for the I-215 which meant having to drive for 40 miles before we could do a U-turn. So 80 miles later we were back to where we should have been over 1 hour ago! Not impressed!

We made it to Hoover Dam a few hours later than expected but it was worth it. What an amazing piece of engineering and I didn’t know it was directly in the middle of the Nevada and Arizona state line. You can clearly see how low the dam water is from the photos below. What looks to be white rock lining the sides of the river is where the waterline normally is. Currently its 55 foot lower due to the really dry summer America’s had this year.

We forgot about the hours’ time difference as we crossed over into Arizona which meant we ended up missing lunch as we were in the middle of nowhere with not a spot of food in sight! Ignoring the rumbling from our stomachs, we headed for the west point of the Grand Canyon (where the skywalk is located).

The road to the Grand Canyon started off ok but there was an 11 mile stretch of dirt/gravel with some lovely crests and hairpins that could have fitted very well into any rally stage back home. I don’t need to mention Abby's feelings for this part of the journey but in the end it was well worth it!

The Grand Canyon wasn’t how I expected it to be. There were two main viewing points which we were bussed to from the parking area. There was no railing or anything so you could easily fall into it or throw someone off the edge. Abby stayed well back and just shouted at me for being too close as I peered over taking photos.

It was starting to get dark as we hit the gravel stage of the rally course on the way back down so we knew it was going to be about 20:00 before we got to Flagstaff. On the way down we stopped to see if a couple needed a hand changing a wheel as they had a puncture and I joked saying how lucky we were to have had no issues at all so far. 20miles down the road we found ourselves in the pitch black trying to change the rear O/S tyre. I could just make out Abby scowling at me in the dark as we unpacked the entire car in hope of finding a space saver! Oh and the people we stopped to check were ok changing their wheel just drove straight past us! Buggers!

Roy Williams saved the day though as we dug out the 15 free pens with lights on that he gave us back in Alberta, Thanks Roy!

So, I had the wheel on in no time and we got back to the highway but I knew we weren’t going to make Flagstaff that night. I was taking it very easy with the bicycle wheel we had on the now over twitchy back end. We made it to a place called Kingman and checked into a motel to pick up things in the morning.

Abby phoned National car hire on Saturday morning after a sleepless night of worrying about cars and tyres. I was all up for taking it to one of the 5 tyre garages this little town had but National told us we should drive to Flagstaff (the nearest office) and they would sort it from there. Well we started on our 142 mile trek to flagstaff were I was gutted to find out Arizona has the fastest speed limits (so far) at 75mph. We were sitting there trying to stay around 50mph and trying not to get blown off the road by the massive lorries doing 75-80 right besides us.

Well with 64 miles to go we heard that familiar sound of air rushing out of the rear N/S tyre as we coasted to a stop on the side of the interstate. So with 2 punctures and only 1 space saver, we were screwed. After inspecting the wheel, it seems there may be something more serious with the car as both rear tyres have worn way too much on the inner edges, straight through the wire mesh which caused the blow outs. I had a good look under the car and both shocks and springs appear to be ok so maybe just some new tyres and some rear wheel alignment and things should be ok.

After a few phone calls to National we waited 2 hours for a tow truck to arrive by which time it had started to snow quite heavily. It got us to our destination and National gave us a Ford Fiesta for a couple of days until our car has been checked over and repaired.

So we have a few days to spend in Flagstaff. We are planning to go up to see the east side of the Grand Canyon but if it keeps snowing like this I’m bloody going skiing here. Stuff waiting until we get to Colorado!

Nov
8
2012

VEGAS!

We picked up the tail end of route 66 and started to follow it backwards towards Vegas. Instead of driving San Diego to Vegas in one day, we decided to take a detour to visit Palm Springs. This is apparently the new LA and full of celeb’s houses although we didn’t spot any. We didn’t spend long there, just had a wander round and some lunch in a nice place called Coconut bar. It was way too hot to do much else so we made for the safety of the air con. A few more hours on the road and we stopped in a place called Needles (located right on the 66). That left us with only a 1 hour drive to Vegas and the strip the following morning.

We checked into the Excalibur hotel for 5 nights as it was located right on the strip and it was only £17 a night. We thought it might be a bit rubbish for the price but were surprised by the size of its casino. It also had lots of bars, 4 pools, 6 restaurants and a food court, so it wasn’t a bad deal. Granted it wasn’t anything like the Venetian or Bellagio but gave us a good base.

We both loved Vegas. Again we were spoilt with record high temperatures for November (mid-thirties) so took advantage and had a day by the pool and again just relaxed with some reading (Abby) or catching up with work (me).

The first night we went a bit nuts (to say the least) with the gambling and drinking. We had heard that in Vegas you get free drinks if you are spending money on the casino floor (they are referred to as comps). We had been told that even if you hang round the 1 cent machines and tip the cocktail waitress, she will just keep bringing you drinks all night. Well speaking from experience, it works. In fact it works very well! The only thing that stopped us getting married was the chapel in our hotel closed at 22:00. And before you shout at me Trudi, it was your daughter’s idea not mine!

Abby woke up in the morning and was in her very own 'Hangover' movie. I wasn't so bad until we tried to recall just how much free Corona we had drunk.

Ok, so what did we do apart from drink and gamble. Well we wandered round the strip a bit and drank and gambled in other casinos, we watched the fountain display at the Bellagio - amazing, went to the show 'Tournament of Kings' at our own hotel. I also discovered my love for Roulette and Abby's love of general gambling, but by the fifth night we were both a bit fed up of the whole gambling thing. Also as you can smoke in all the casinos, we were fed up of smelling like smokers every night and I was fed up of listening to Abby moan about how many times she had to wash her hair!

We took a whole day off from the mayhem of Vegas on Thursday and drove back into California towards Death Valley. This was a place I wanted to visit ever Hank told me about it from his route 66 style bikers holiday he had a few years ago. It was amazing, just the difference in contrast of the surroundings and how quiet everything was. We headed through Death Valley up to a good spot called Dante's view which overlooks the great salt planes.

On our way back, we decided to go slightly off-piste and see if we could find Area 51. We got about as close as we could without disguising ourselves as belonging to the America Air-force and climbing over some private property fences. We found a great little store in the closest place too it which was all very alien inspired inside!

 So we are leaving Vegas tomorrow to head towards Flagstaff via Hoover dam and the Grand Canyon. Will post more then.

Nov
3
2012

San Diego and the zoo

So, San Diego was the biggest surprise of California so far. We had both expected it to be a place over-run with Hispanic people, a scruffy looking city with not much to do or offer. How wrong could we have been! This place blew our minds!

We had only planned to spend a couple of nights here but ended up staying for 5 in total. Firstly the weather was fantastic, around 35C every day! The only Hispanic people saw were the ones serving in the vast amount of Mexican restaurants available and everyone we met was really friendly. We stayed in a place with a little pool and it was right on the doorstep of the old town. We ate in the old town most nights as it was walking distance to our motel and the food was amazing!

Downtown San Diego was worth a visit too. Lots of shopping, nice beaches and the city was immaculately clean. Cleanest place we have been so far. They have a Naval base right next door to one of the beaches and you can go and wander round the aircraft carrier and some of the aircraft on-board. We had a couple of days while we were here just doing nothing. Well I caught up with some work and Abby read a couple of books by the pool.

If you ever visit San Diego, you must make sure you go to the zoo. Wow! Now I know I haven’t got much to compare it to having only been to Chester zoo which to be fair, has about 7 animals in total but this place was amazing!

We spent a good 7hrs there wandering round and I’m still not sure we did or saw everything. The zoo is quite famous (claimed to be the best in North America) because of the warm climate and the sheer size of the place. They have more animals than I thought existed. Even a two headed snake! Yes that’s right, a species of snake with two heads!

I must admit I am not a massive fan of zoos as I don’t think animals should really be held in captivity and small cages but all the animals there had massive areas and all looked so healthy. Also you are only ever 2 feet away from the animals, so it makes for some good photos!

Heading north a little bit now to pick up the end of route 66 were we will follow it backwards towards Vegas.

Oct
31
2012

LA…We won’t be rushing back!

Well LA was a disappointment in my opinion and I won't be rushing back there anytime soon. Abby felt the same about the place, just over hyped for what it is.

As with most places on our road trip, if we pre-book the accommodation before we actually get there (which we only do when going to cities) we generally go for the cheapest place we can online without it being in a complete dive. Well the place we checked into in LA was as clean as any others we've been to and the location appeared to be ok, until the motel guy told us to make sure we didn't go out after dark unless we were in the car. We were staying between Lynwood and Compton but we didn’t see any real trouble even though Compton is gang central. Not the best of starts.

We did the Hollywood walk of fame which was good to see but not really worth the hassle. Every 20 yards you get pestered by someone trying to sell you a sightseeing tour, or trying to give you a free copy of their new music album and then charge you 10 dollars when it’s in your hand. And don’t just drop them on the floor and walk on, they tend to not like it! So if you can deal with the above, then there is the constant bombardment of beggars and homeless people and the thousands of Chinese with all the camera power in the world. Exhausting!

We walked Sunset Boulevard and the other things you ‘must’ do while in LA. The Hollywood sign for me was a complete disappointment. Thought it would be much bigger and much closer, or you could at least get up close to it, but you can't.

We had a drive around Beverly Hills which was nice looking at some of the houses and cars on the driveways. Santa Monica was nice and the Venice and Muscle beach were worth a visit. I would consider coming back here for a visit but I would make sure I stay here as well as it has everything you need and you don’t need to go near the rest of LA.

We did the Warner Brothers VIP studio tour which was cool. Got to see some of the sets and sound stages and saw some of the tricks they use when building the sets and setting them up. The only famous person we saw (well Abby did, I missed him) was one of the guys from 'The Big Bang Theory'.

So that's it really, not going to write any more about the place as it doesn't really deserve it in my opinion. Heading to San Diego now for a few days break and some beach time.

Oct
26
2012

San Francisco and ‘The Rock’

Our first experience of San Francisco was driving over the Golden Gate Bridge. It looked magnificent as we got nearer the city and it came into view getting closer and closer until we were right in front of it! It cost 6 dollars to drive over but was well worth it.

As we drove in for the first time, we had to try and get across the city and over the Bay Bridge towards Oakland. We were staying outside of the city in Oakland as it was much cheaper to do this and travel in each day. They have a pretty good transport system called BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) which only took 20 mins to get into the centre of San Francisco from where we were staying. We ended up pretty much going straight through the city and straight through Chinatown.

The city was just as I had imagined, roads were amazing, really steep hills and I was constantly wandering round looking at how difficult the foundations and sewage falls must have been to plan. It’s also a wonder how the cable cars get up and down the hills as well, must be some tension in those cables under the roads!

During the drive down to San Francisco, we bumped into 2 Canadians that were travelling back up to BC from a 3 week break in California. They told us about this little Italian restaurant they went to for the bloke’s birthday which had great views of the city. As we didn’t have any plans for where we were going to eat on Abby’s birthday we decided to go there. Well the place must have been located at the highest point in San Francisco, Abby was less than impressed by the time we got to the top. The last part of the climb must have been close to 40-45 degrees. Cars were parked perpendicular to the pavement and they looked like they were about to topple over.

The restaurant was lovely and food was fantastic. They had lots of photos inside the restaurant of the owner with all the A and B list celebrities that had eaten there. And boy, there were a lot of them! They even made Abby a birthday dessert after I mentioned it was her birthday and I lost count of the free glasses of port they gave us. Always worth playing the birthday card! We got some great photos of the city at night from the top of the mountain we were on.

As well as wandering round the city, fisherman’s wharf and shopping we decided to go for a tour of the rock. What an amazing day wandering round and listening to the stories of some of the ex-cons and guards (via the audio tour). We got to go in the cells on the lower level and into solitary confinement but for some reason they let us both out afterwards. Everywhere else was pretty much open to visit with the exception of a couple of buildings that were falling down and dangerous. I didn’t realise that the guard’s families and children all lived on the island as well, it wasn’t just a prison.

San Francisco is definately the gay capital of the world. Abby and I were definately the odd ones out. We also saw two naked men biking down the middle of the piers on fisherman’s wharf. We haven’t got any pictures of this, thankfully Abby couldn’t find the camera in time!

Heading to LA now to see what all the hype is about so will post once we move on from there.

Oct
24
2012

Mt St Helens and the Drive to San Francisco!

We left Seattle and headed south on I5 towards San Francisco with a planned detour to Mt St Helens ahead of us. We didn’t realise just how long the detour would be to the volcano but it took hours. The drive was quite interesting though as the elevation changed quite a lot and we kept climbing above the snowline and then dropping down again. The biggest problem we had was the whole mountain was covered in a massive snow storm so when we finally got to Johnston Ridge Observatory, we couldn’t actually see the volcano at all. There was quite a lot to see and do inside the centre though so not a wasted trip at all!

Once we got back on the I5 and started to head towards San Francisco again, it was clear we had a bloody long way to go in 2 days! We crossed the state border into Oregon which turned out to be a very green state (from the rain it has) and its speed limits were 5mph less than in Washington, not that I or anyone else on the roads paid much attention to that. It rained constantly and we drove on until 7pm at which point we pulled over in a place called Albany and checked into a motel.

We hit the road again at 8am and after only 1 hour we were in some of the heaviest rain I have ever seen, let alone tried to drive in. Americans, like Canadians are rubbish drivers compared to us Brits, add torrential rain to this and you have a very nervous and panicky Abby!

When we got minutes from the California border the rain stopped, it was weird. The surrounding landscape became really dry and the greenery quickly disappeared. We took the forest road west towards the coast and headed for the valley of the giants, home to 75% of the worlds Great Redwood trees! Nothing really important or interesting to tell you about on the forest road other than we nearly ran out of fuel at one point (3 miles left on the fuel gauge, so Abby has now made herself fuel police). Abby summarised the journey on this road to ‘like being in Mario cart’!

 

The size of the trees in the Valley of the Giants was impressive and as we drove through, it was like driving at night. The trees blocked out that much light the whole highway is pretty much mandatory headlights!

After a few pictures among the giants, I found myself with a near impossible task ahead. With only 90 minutes (at best) of daylight left and over 280 miles left to cover and limited to none interstate speeds (so that’s 55mph to us), the chances of Abby getting to San Francisco for her birthday was beyond slim. I gave it a good go but after a few hours it was raining again, it was pitch black and I was playing dodge Bambi. So after 13 hours on the road we gave up and pulled into the dodgiest looking motel in a place called Garberville. After going inside to enquire about the price of this rats nest, $60 was more than we were willing to pay. So with Abby’s hands covering her eyes, we continued on into Bambi country.

After 20 minutes further down the road (with zero deer dead) we found an equally dodgy looking motel in a place called Willits. It was getting really late now and we just couldn’t be bothered driving any further. I can honestly say it is the scariest place I have ever stayed as there were Hispanic people everywhere, wandering round the motel car park looking up to no good (it was opposite two fast food places) and sitting outside the doors of the motel rooms. Abby was of course asleep within minutes as usual, which was a good job as I thought someone was trying to break in through the un-lockable bathroom window at one point. I did find a bit of wood and jammed it shut which just left me covering the front door. I lay there for a good 3 hours watching the curtains flashing blue and red with the police lights in the car park and I really did think about just waking Abby up there and then and leaving.


The next morning Abby awoke on her birthday to probably the worst place she has ever stayed and with that look of ‘what the hell are we doing here’ on her face, we quickly got on the road to San Francisco again, where things would hopefully improve.

Oct
21
2012

Sleepless in Seattle. But not from the price of fuel!

So we got the ferry back from Vancouver Island and started to head south to the USA border. Abby convinced me that we needed to go via the nearest National car hire place which was at Vancouver airport as she didn’t think the paperwork we had was sufficient enough to cross the border in the hire car. To cut a long, boring story short, National had messed up our reservation so we have 3 x 30 day reservations and not 1 x 90 day one. Despite National not trying to get in contact with us at all, they were 1 day from reporting the car to the police as being stolen, so it was a good job Abby made us go in. Needless to say, I am looking forward to the ‘talk’ with the spotty, arrogant, cocky manager in the Toronto branch when we do eventually hand the car back in!

 

So the border crossing went as expected really. Bloke on the booth wasn’t impressed we were travelling around America and not staying in one place. He really wasn’t impressed when we told him we hadn’t booked anywhere in Seattle to stay. Got sent to the inspection area as we had to go inside and fill in some i94W forms. Waiting for us inside was a 90 minute queue behind some screaming Chinese children and a bloke that had a criminal record in Canada who was getting some grief from the border guards.

The whole experience went surprisingly slowly but we didn’t get much trouble on the desk from the young guy as I think he was more interested in Abby than anything else. One smile from her and we were in!

However the guard on the final barrier outside was a complete tit! He made me basically climb out the window of the car as he wouldn’t lean forward a few inches, so I handed him the passports and the orange form which now allowed us entry into the US. He never told me he just wanted the form so he dropped the passports on the floor inches from his feet, so I had to get out the car and pick them up. I felt like throwing something at him but decided against it. Stupid arrogant Americans! And we think the French and Italians are bad!

Anyway, things are kind of back to normal now as everything is in mph again, although I am still on the wrong side of the car and road. Fuel though is around the equivalent of £1 per litre back in the UK. Good times!

 

Seattle was a nice place and quite friendly. Abby did lots of shopping here. We wandered round the famous farmers market and saw the first ever Starbucks. We walked around the city for most of the day and did intend to go up the Space Needle but it was its 160 something birthday and only a dollar admission. We didn’t wait in the monster queue. It lived up to its name in the afternoon and rained quite a lot. We would have stayed a few days longer but wanted to try and get to San Francisco for Abby’s birthday and wanted to visit Mt St Helens on the way down. There was going to be a few long days of driving ahead!


As I'm writing this, we are watching the news about the massive earthquake that has just hit an island in BC, Canada. We first thought it was Vancouver Island but it was actually the Queen Charlotte Islands. We have also just noticed that there has been a state of emergency declared in Wawa, Ontario due to the massive amount of rain they have experienced recently. This picture is from the Ontario state news pages and shows the road we used to drive into Wawa when we stayed there about 4 weeks ago now.

Oct
19
2012

Vancouver and the Island

Arrived in Vancouver on Wednesday, checked into a motel and headed downtown. Had to get the Skytrain into the centre which sounds much cooler than it actually was. We were only on it for a couple of stops but in that short time it was obvious why Vancouver is called ‘Mini Hong Kong’. Chinese and English were the two obvious main languages (in that order) and although it was a nice enough place, I’m glad in a way it wasn’t better than Calgary.

Before we had a wander round the city, Abby made a note on the map of the area we had been told to avoid by both Roy and the Canada book we had been reading throughout our trip. We walked to Gastown and Chinatown and were on our way to Yaletown (where the restaurants and shops were) when we found ourselves right in the middle of the area we were supposed to avoid. It was like something out of a film where zombies come out of doorways making their way towards you from both sides of the street. I’ve not seen anything like it before, some proper crazy people about. A woman was emptying bottles of water all over the street while yelling at a copper, a bloke was counting leaves scattered all over the floor and getting really angry with the wind when it moved them around. Without trying to look too touristy with our map out and ‘mug us’ written on our heads, some fast changes of direction and an extremely quick pace got us out of bumville and back to civilisation.

There is not much left to say about the rest of Vancouver, not much to see as a whole, some nice areas, some bad, but lots and lots of Chinese people. Did have a great Thai meal in a place called ‘Simply Thai’ which if you are to believe the pictures hanging by the door, a place that Tom Cruise and Tom Hanks have eaten. It didn’t look like a photo-shop job and the food was good enough to make me believe it was true.

The best part of the whole of Vancouver was the drive down the Coquihalla highway (well for me anyway). Abby wasn’t too keen on the massive drops either side of the road, the constant road signs saying ‘IMPORTANT: Must carry snow chains from Oct – Apr!’ or the racing lines I was taking on the descent.  Around 90 minutes drive in total, not sure how high we climbed but there was a change of temperature from 14C at the bottom to 0C at the summit. Driving through the clouds and in between the mountains was fantastic, by far was the best road I have ever driven! Certainly a place to test those future 250’s, Leigh and Terry!

We decided to get the ferry over to Vancouver Island and visit Victoria and some of the other places we’d heard were worth seeing. The ferry was pretty uneventful (I was watching for icebergs on deck) but the journey was over in 1hr 35mins.

Victoria was lovely and did remind us of the UK. The weather was about the same and the streets could have been from any northern city. Victoria also hosts a castle and cathedral which we visited and is extremely rare for Canada because it’s such a new country. Most of Canada’s buildings are under 100 years old with the exception of a few in Montréal. Anyway, the castle and cathedral were nice to see but not a patch on some we have back home. There was a lot of shopping available, some nice parks and lots and lots of pubs which is probably why it reminds Brits of back home. Also had the best ale of our trip so far, Blue Buck by Phillips brewery which is brewed on the island apparently.

Looking to get the early ferry tomorrow morning (Saturday) and then try to sneak over the border into the US and make it to Seattle for a few days. Not sure if the hire care is allowed into the USA (we have no proof it is only the word of the woman in Toronto) so we might be touring Canada a bit longer… which wouldn’t be a bad thing!

Oct
17
2012

The wine regions of BC

Well we headed back up towards Banff and Lake Louise and headed straight through the Rockies into British Columbia and to the mountain town of Revelstoke. We stayed there for a night and made use of the free aquatics centre we had entry to with the motel. It wasn’t much to shout about but we did spend an hour or so in the steam room and Jacuzzi which was relaxing.

The motel we stayed in was quite nice but right next to the train line that follows the road up through the mountains. We had trains passing every five minutes and they continued on through the night which didn’t impress Abby much. These trains were much longer than the rest we’ve seen so far (200+ carriages and 3km long - not like I was counting). Most of them had 2 engines up front, one in the middle and one at the rear, just to get the sheer weight of the cargo over the mountains!

Anyway, we had a day wandering round the little ski town which looked really nice, but as there wasn’t any snow we headed off down to Kelowna, the wine region of BC.

We had heard Kelowna was very different to the rest of Canada and we really could have been anywhere in France, Italy or the Med. It didn’t feel at all like any of the Canada we had travelled through. Rolling hills both sides of the town overlooking a big lake, with vineyards all over. After only being there for 30 minutes it was obvious it was a bit of a retirement home for Canadians but we could see why.

As we were in Kelowna for 2 days we decided to do the wine tour trail. We hit as many of the wineries that were open as we could (7-8 in total I think). We didn’t go with a group tour so I just drove between them and needless to say, Abby did most of the sampling. It was a nice day and we got to see how a couple of the wineries made their wines and heard about how they stop the bears eating the grapes! We finished the day by coming away with several bottles of wine and as there had been quite a few generous samples throughout the day, a slightly drunk Abby.

So our next stop is Vancouver which is 4 hours away but it should be a nice drive as we going to take the Coquihalla highway! :-)

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